Geoff Williams

Journalist, freelance writer


• You may be able lower the price of cleaning services by making strategic decisions in how your employees clean and where they work.

• Cleaning done right can bring you a healthy ROI, improving your business operations beyond simply having a clean workspace.

• Finding the right commercial cleaning service is a process, involving skills such as good communication and asking the right questions.

Keeping storefronts and offices clean has always been sound business, but today, it’s more important than ever. Customers and employees now expect the places they shop and work at to be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis, requiring a professional touch that some small business owners may not have the time nor interest in doing themselves.

If you’re considering a cleaning service for your small business, consult this guide to understand how they’re priced, whether you’re getting the most for your money, and how you and your employees can work with them to keep your business safe and clean.


Hiring a commercial cleaning service can be expensive. According to the business buying guide, the average cost is $0.07 to $0.15 cents per square foot.

Whatever estimate a commercial cleaning service gives you, you may be able to spend less by doing the following:

Keep as many employees as possible working from home.

Along with lessening the risk of spreading the virus, having fewer employees in the office may help drop your cleaning costs.

Cody Millsap is the vice president of franchise development with Stratus Building Solutions, a green commercial cleaning service that is headquartered in North Hollywood, California. He says that “density” often comes into play when determining a price for a client.

“When you have 50 people using a break room for lunch versus 15, there is going to be a significant difference in the amount of clean up that is required,” Millsap says.

Ask your staff to do simple custodial tasks.

Instead of having a cleaning service sweep the floors and empty the trash, you can pay for them to focus on "deep cleaning," such as sanitizing surfaces and spraying the air to keep away viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.

Consider how consistent you want to be with cleaning.

The more often you use a service, the less you tend to pay per cleaning. Much of that has to do with the time it takes to clean.

“The more often we are there, the easier and faster we can clean the facility,” Millsap says. “It’s easier to stay clean than it is to get clean.”

Of course, the coronavirus can quickly reemerge in even the cleanest workspaces. For that matter alone, it makes sense to hire a service on a fairly frequent basis.

Return on Investment

It’s easy to see a cleaning service as part of the cost of doing business and not as anything that will generate income for you. You might even think it's not worth the effort of finding the best commercial cleaning service.

But hiring a cleaning service can provide a return on investment. Beyond providing a cleaner and safer workplace, there are some arguments that you will get something for the money spent.

Less money spent on custodial products

“A typical restaurant usually is spending as much if not more on [industrial janitorial supplier] Jan-san products such as hand soap, disinfectants, paper products, air fresheners, brushes, gloves, bowl cleaners, chrome polish, etc.,” says Pat Swisher, the CEO of Enviro-Master, a nationwide franchised company that offers industrial and commercial cleaning and sanitizing services and is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

If you have a cleaning service, your business will need to purchase fewer cleaning products, which saves money.